Major Differences For Arctic Sea Ice

The Fram Strait has had much more sea ice this winter than it has had in several years, while the Barents Sea has been characterized by large areas of open sea.

This is reported by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in a press release.

Scientists are now looking at the significance of record-warm seas for the sea ice.

Scientists have long observed that the winter ice is shrinking faster in the Barents Sea than anywhere else. This is due to air masses being warmer and the area has also received more heat from the Atlantic ocean current. The sea ice in the Barents Sea is primarily new ice, which makes it vulnerable to climate change, writes the institute.

The institute highlights the extraordinary increase in temperature on Svalbard, warmer water from the West Spitsbergen Current, exceptionally little ice north of Svalbard, and a lot of ice in the Fram Strait.

"There being a lot of ice in the Fram Strait is not necessarily a sign that there is a lot of ice in the Arctic Ocean. On the contrary, a lot of ice in the Fram Strait can mean that a lot of ice is disappearing from the Arctic Ocean. It is mainly through here that the sea ice leaves the Arctic," explains Signe Aaboe, climate researcher at the Meteorological Institute.